12 Contact Hours

Occupational, physical, and speech therapists play a crucial role in helping people who have experienced brain damage (ex. stroke, head injury, cerebral palsy), spinal cord injury, birth defects, or neurological disease, regain function. The success of each case is dependent on the therapist's ability to fully understand the nervous system. This is the last in a series of four modules offered to "refresh" each clinician's understanding of the human nervous system. This module takes a closer look at the structure and function of the regions of the brain including the cranial nerves, brainstem, vestibular and visual systems, and the cerebrum. An entire chapter is dedicated to the clinical applications of the cerebrum. It is recommended that you read each module of the series in order, to achieve maximum benefit.


Joel Desotelle, MS OTR/L

Joel is an occupational therapist who specializes in neurological disorders in children and adults. He received his Bachelors of Science (B.S) degree in occupational therapy from Keuka College (Keuka Park, NY) in 1995 and his post-graduate Masters of Science (M.S.) degree from Misericordia University (Dallas, PA) in 2010. He holds a post-graduate certificate in pediatrics from Misericordia University (2006) and has worked in a variety of settings from out-patient pediatrics to in-patient adults. Joel is an experienced author and instructor who has presented on a wide range of topics including stroke rehab, neuromuscular disorders, autism, sensory dysfunction, dementia, falls, and outcomes-based therapy.

Course Text (required): Neuroscience: Fundamentals for Rehabilitation, 3rd ed. (2007) written by Dr. Laurie Lundy-Ekman, PT, PhD. - Copyright 2007 Elsevier, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Audience: OT, PT

Skill Level: Intermediate

Contact Hours: 12

The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA

Teaching Methods: Course content includes the text, "Neuroscience: Fundamentals for Rehabilitation, 3rd ed. (2007)" written by Dr. Laurie Lundy-Ekman, PT, PhD with contributions by Lisa Stehno-Bittel, PT, PhD

Criteria for Passing: Each learner must complete all learning activities/handouts and pass a final exam to receive credit.

Course Objectives:

At the completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Identify all 12 cranial nerves as well as their function and related disorders;
  2. Identify the structure and function of the reticular formation, medulla, mid-brain, and cerebellum as well as related disorders associated with each region;
  3. Describe the location and structures involved in regulating balance;
  4. Describe how the brain processes visual information and coordinates eye-movement;
  5. Describe 8 common vestibular and 4 common visual disorders;
  6. Identify the structure and function of the dienchephalon, sub-cortical structures, cerebral cortex, and limbic system;
  7. Identify at least 10 different brain disorders, the associated region, and the impact on function.

Here is the course outline:

1. Introduction

Please read the introduction to provide you with important information and tips about your course.

2. Course Objectives - (Module 4) Neuroanatomy Refresher: The Brain

Click to view course objectives.

3. Coursework - (Module 4) Neuroanatomy Refresher: The Brain

Click to view coursework. All readings and activities are required to pass this course.

4. Course Final and Survey - (Module 4) Neuroanatomy Refresher: The Brain

Click to take final exam. You must complete all readings and activities to take the final.


The following certificates are awarded when the course is completed:

Certificate of Completion